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Teaching Mrs Tingle  

Leigh Ann Watson (Katie Holmes)
Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren)
Jo Lynn (Marisa Lesley)
Luke (Barry Watson)
Miss Banks (Molly Ringwald)
Mrs. Gold (Vivica A. Fox)
Principal Potter (Michael McKean)
Directed and Written by Kevin Williamson
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, violence, sexuality, language, and some teen drinking
Running Time: 93 minutes Distributed by Miramax

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Teaching Mrs. Tingle is a dull film that has brought more out more controversy than necessary. Leigh Ann Watson (Holmes) is a smart high school senior that has only one obstacle in her way from getting a scholarship and going to college-her history teacher, Mrs. Tingle (Mirren), who is a truly mean and heartless woman who is hated by everyone. Leigh Ann sinks herself into failure after an embarrassing response from Mrs. Tingle over her last project for the class. Next, Luke (Watson), a strange and isolated teenager, surprises Leigh Ann and her best friend Jo Lynn (Lesley) by stealing Mrs. Tingle's final exam. Mrs.Tingle catches the three students and she tells that they are going to be expelled for cheating. The students then decide to go to Mrs. Tingle's house to convince her that she is making a mistake. After a few arguments and freak accident, Leigh Ann, Jo Lynn, and Luke end up tying Mrs. Tingle to her bed. The students plan to leave her tied up until they can all come to an agreement of how to convince Mrs. Tingle not to have them expelled or arrested. However, Mrs. Tingle has other plans for her students.

Teaching Mrs. Tingle has one truly exceptional aspect in it, which is the performance by Helen Mirren. Mirren is cold-hearted and absolutely mean in the role as Mrs. Tingle. Mirren really develops and portrays a cruel and evil villain. Katie Holmes is okay as Leigh Ann and Marisa Lesley does a very nice job as Jo Lynn.

Horror master Kevin Williamson who wrote Teaching Mrs. Tingle, also wrote Scream, Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Faculty. Teaching Mrs. Tingle is the weakest of all of his past work, and the only movie that he has written that I didn't like. The script really gets cheesy and the whole plot is unbelievable and doesn't achieve anything. Williamson's strength in his writing has always been his unique characters. In which, the characters in Teaching Mrs. Tingle are nicely presented and developed, but some of the character's actions and some of the scenes in the film are really stupid and irrelevant.

Teaching Mrs. Tingle has caused a lot of controversy in the United States. Due to its content of the student's actions towards their teacher, theatres and cities have banned and not released this film. It was banned here in Baton Rouge which is one of the reasons that I am so late in seeing this movie and reviewing it. (I had to drive an hour away to Kenner, LA, which is right outside of New Orleans to watch it.) I don't agree with the banning of this film, and the film is totally not what people are saying it is. It is PG-13 for God's sake-not even rated R-and it gets banned. Some people believe that the content will lead high school students to taking action on their own teachers. People need to learn how to see movies as fantasy and their lives as reality. It is not a movie that makes people do what they do but the people themselves. There is no need to blame movies as it will just open up more and more controversy. Also, under the First Amendment of the United States, any writer or performer can develop or portray anything they want to. Banning this film is a violation of our own constitutional right of freedom of expression.

Teaching Mrs. Tingle is not a very effective film; in fact I found it pretty dumb. It is just amazing what the media and the American people will blame for problems in our country when it is really people themselves that are the problem.

Report Card Grade: D+

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